IMA’s Museums and Technology Conference

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We were delighted to take part in the IMA‘s conference “Museums & technology: online collections & interpretation” in Culture Derry in Northern Ireland. More than 80 museum professionals, students and interested parties from North and South heard 9 talks across a range of topics. The seminar discussed the potential and the challenges of digital engagement; how interactive design interventions mould our experience of the museum; the environmental influences on the virtual visitor; and how today’s technologies translate into museum collections.

The seminar ended with a workshop that reinforced the importance of surfacing your content for search engines – for your users, if it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist! Plus we learned cat videos on YouTube are the main competition for your museum’s online visitors. At the very end, everyone split into small groups and reimagined various example museum artefact webpages to increase engagement. Lots of fun ideas emerged, unencumbered by the need to be actually implemented!

Congratulations to the IMA for organising a content-packed, provoking seminar. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of some of the exciting projects trying to connect museum’s collections in new ways to the burgeoning web audience.

Peter Whittaker